Consumer protection agency Profeco has dubbed Chedraui “the king of the phony offers” during the Buen Fin discount shopping event, but Walmart upset more consumers.
“We’ve detected cases of phony offers, but very few,” Profeco chief Ricardo Sheffield told President López Obrador’s regular news conference on Monday.
“The king of the phony offers has been Chedraui,” he declared, noting that the supermarket chain was offering dry food for dogs at a 25% discount but raised its prices 27% in the week before the Buen Fin event, which began last Wednesday and concludes Tuesday.
“In the end the kibble is 2% more expensive than before the Buen Fin. What’s this nonsense? We suspended their promotion. It’s not obligatory – if you don’t want to run an offer don’t run it but don’t tell lies,” Sheffield said.
“We also had a problem with Chedraui about a tray they were offering for 33 pesos but then they didn’t want to sell it [for that price] because they claimed the price was US $33 [but] you can’t sell something in any currency that isn’t Mexican pesos so they had to sell their little tray for 33 pesos as they advertised it,” he said.
The Profeco chief also presented preliminary data that showed that 35% of all complaints made by shoppers during the Buen Fin event were against Walmart. Complaints against Soriana accounted for 8% of the total, while those against Chedraui and Elektra represented 5% and 3%, respectively.
Overall, complaints were down compared to last year. Profeco received a total of 1,056 complaints during the 2020 Buen Fin while this year’s total stood at 472 as of Monday, Sheffield said.
“Office Depot doesn’t want to settle any complaints, that’s sad because at other times it had been very receptive to Profeco’s intervention. Liverpool and Coppel congratulations! [They have] a 100% conciliation rate. Consumers are leaving [their stores] happy. If they have a problem they’re resolving it 100%,” he said.
The Profeco chief also revealed some “interesting changes in the behavior of consumers in our country.”
The purchase of footwear and clothing accounted for 22% of total sales during last year’s Buen Fin while this year it accounted for 20%, Sheffield said. Grocery items were not part of Buen Fin promotions last year but this year they accounted for 13% of total sales, he said.
“It’s good that we’re taking advantage of Buen Fin [to buy] things that directly benefit the family,” Sheffield said.
“And another piece of good news: last year the purchase of flights was 0% [of total Buen Fin sales] and this year it increased to 10%. A lot of people are taking the opportunity to buy trips and that points to a recovery of the tourism sector next year, a sector that is extremely important for Mexico and which urgently needs to recover. Millions of families depend on this economic activity that has been so affected by the pandemic,” he said.
The Profeco chief added that the purchase of white goods had decreased significantly from 17% of total sales last year to 9% this year.
According to Profeco data, 48% of Buen Fin purchases were made in store while the remainder were made online.
Approximately 93% of consumers in urban areas made or planned to buy something during the shopping event, with families spending an average of 7,000 pesos (US $336) on discounted goods.
With reports from Milenio